A Guide to Spot the Bull 2

I’m not going to stop pushing Spot the Bull until everyone in the world has visited the site.

Spot the Bull is Back!

Spot the Bull

Orange’s Spot the Bull is back. And this time it’s bigger and better than before. Now featuring:

  1. team play allowing you to win up to 8 tickets per group
  2. live multi-cam video streaming from the field
  3. real time stats and bull-tracking enabling strategic play
  4. and much more besides

If you want to win Glastonbury tickets this is officially the biggest ticket givaway competition in the world – so get stuck in. Today is the first day of it going live so if you get in there fast you’ll be in with a good chance of winning tickets.

Play Spot the Bull now. And get your friends to play with you, you’ll get increased chances of winning more tickets, honestly :-)

If anyone wants more info on the project just give me a shout and I’ll be happy to furnish you with what I know.

Compfight.com

compfight.com

Andy our latest new Poke chap alerted me to the awesomeness of Compfight.com. It’s a Flickr search tool that allows you to find and view lots of Flickr images quickly with some key filters (like Creative Commons licensing). It’s a top way of finding images for comps, research and inspiration. Nice one.

I recommend you subscribe to Andy’s blog, it’s really rather good.

Portfolio Night

Portfolio Night 6

I was lucky enough to go to Portfolio Night 6 last night. Set up by the enterprising young dudes behind http://ihaveanidea.org/ it’s billed as a chance for young creatives to meet creative directors (for a fee of £10). I felt like it was a chance for me to meet young talented people (for a fee of nothing with a couple of beers thrown in for free).

Without giving away any personal details about people that I saw I was amazed at the disparity in skills that I saw. Some of it was obviously about talent. But there were a bunch of people who’d obviously been given a really rubbish schooling in what ‘advertising’ is all about. A shocking image with a quirky line and a logo (bottom left invariably bottom right invariably [thanks Ben for pointing out my stupid error]) can’t be the basic unit of advertising any more, can it?

I met a few youngsters that really stood out: if I thought I could hide Jai and Wal from the world and keep them as my little secret I’d be tempted. But they’re already out there, blogging with the best of them and doing placements at great places. So they’ll be fine whatever happens.

There’s another couple that I really really liked, but I’m keeping them secret for now whilst ‘discussions’ take place…

I hope my comments were useful to the people I spoke to. I’m not sure they were mostly. But I hope at least I was polite and respectful (unlike some of my contemporaries who I heard being a little bit mean if I have to be honest…).

10 Reasons Digital Is Better Than Advertising – Remixed

This is all going to seem a little strange. Why on earth would anyone want to remix a presentation in such a fashion?

Well it’s a funny story you see. I was mucking around with some basic VJing software. It’s a thing called Quartonian that can take a folder full of images and do crazy stuff with them (using Quartz Composer on the Mac if you’re geekily inclined).

Anyway I tried it out with some holiday snaps and it was a bit odd. The images were all a bit too, well, holiday like. I wanted some pictures that had a more thought out narrative. So I thought why not stick a presentation through the VJing software? I didn’t want to use a client presentation so this is what came to hand.

Here’s what happened:


10 Reasons Digital is Better than Advertising from iaintait on Vimeo.

Oh my good lord I can see myself having some fun with This. Slipping in transformation like this 1/2 way through a boring creds presentation into an acid inspired 3d alternate reality…

The original version of the presentation can be seen in video format with me presenting it over at PSFK. The remixed version is much shorter and more interesting though ;-)

[If you want to do such a thing, and why wouldn’t you? It’s really very simple – just export your presentation out of Keynote or Powerpoint as a series of JPEGs, then point Quartonian at the folder – you’re away! I turned it back into video using Snapz Pro to screen capture the output]

In The Past

Nik just sent me this photo from a few years ago. It’s from 2001 I’m guessing. Before we started Poke we had a company called Nodding Dog that existed for a year or so. We lived in Naked’s basement sharing it with a TV company called Monkey. A few things worth noting:

  • I was less comfortable in front of a camera back then, hence the gesture.
  • I looked younger – that Oil of Olay stuff doesn’t work how it says in the ads.
  • We had a lot more beige computers. A lot more.

4×4 Meme: More About Me

I got tagged by blackbeltjones with the 4×4 meme. So I rolled over and became a part of it. Plus it gives me a chance for some totally self-absorbed and pointless blogging.

It looks like this meme has mutated a bit over time, but I’m going to continue on the branch handed to me by Mr Jones…

So here’s my 4 answers to each of 4 questions:


4 Jobs I’ve had

Work Experience – Some random solicitors firm in Burton on Trent. At the time I really wanted to be a lawyer. I also wanted to drive a Porsche and go skiing. Basically that was my teenage rebellion. It’s what happens when your parents come from the hippy side of the fence. I’m sure they’d have been fine catching me with a cheeky spliff – but a filofax. I knew that’d horrify them.

Boots, Sound and Vision – Burton-on-Trent – When I was 17-18 I worked in Boots. They had a rather natty Sound and Vision department that sold tapes, records, computer games (on cassette), compact film cameras and midi-hifi systems (sad to think that of all those things that only really records exist any more). I was good at selling that stuff.

Principles for Men – Edinburgh. While I was a student I used to do a couple of weekday shifts and a weekend in the basement of the store on Princes Street. During the week the most regular customers were smackhead shoplifters. Their target was generally reversible blouson jackets – they’d realised that they’re great for avoiding detection. If security guards are looking for guys in lemon yellow jackets, they can flip them and be just an innocent guy in a baby blue one.

WWAV Rapp Collins – Edinburgh. My first proper job (after freelancing doing web stuff for the Edinburgh Science Festival) was at a DM agency. The creatives were on a separate floor and used to go and drink shedloads at lunchtime. I was friends with some of them and tried to keep up a few times, it was not good. For the job interview they warned candidates they were going to be asked to demonstrate their Excel skills. So I got the Excel manual and went straight to the back. I learned some bonkers, useless macro skills. They’d never seen anything like it before and I got the job. I never used those skills again. After a few months I went to the MD and suggested that we should look at the Internet as a thing for doing marketing stuff – it was suggested that this was not a good idea. I left soon after.


Four TV Shows I DVR (or shows I would record on DVR if I had a DVR)

(When trying to write this I realised just how little ‘serious’ TV I watch).

Weeds – if you’ve not seen it you should. It’s incredibly dark and incredibly funny. A suburban housewife starts growing weed in order to keep her dysfunctional family together. I still chuckle when I think about the young son’s gangster rap, and any show that makes gags about the Prius being the perfect drive-by car shows a certain degree of skill. Oh and there’s a very odd cameo by Snoop Dogg in series 3. And they have a thing where someone different sings the theme song every episode – and they’re all really cool Weeds is cool.

South Park – I should have grown out of it years ago. But it’s still the satire I enjoy the most. Who else could so eloquently illustrate democracy as making the choice between a douchebag and a shit sandwich and claim that that’s how it’s been throughout history.

Peep Show – nothing makes me laugh like Peep Show. It takes the classic sit-com format and bends it into a dark, painful and twisted voyage inside the brain of modern man.

Heroes – it’s a little cheesy. But it’s really really good. Sophie and I have only just managed to get rid of our sofa-sores after our marathon 23 episode feast over a rainy bank-holiday weekend last year. We’ve not started on Season 3 yet…


Four places I’ve been:

Hamm, Germany. My grandparents used to live there. I remember going there on the coach on my own when I was 13/14. I stayed with my pen pal Aldrik (arranged by my grandma). It was all very pen-pally. On the return trip Aldrik brought me a 12″ maxi single of the Pet Shop Boys. Which was nice.

Koh Pang Ngan, Thailand – I’ve been there a couple of times. I’ve never actually been to one of the legendary full moon parties (probably a good thing). I have however been to an odd detox resort which involved daily enemas and drinking vegetable water. Which was nice.

Northern Italy, Near Merano – An odd bit of Italy where most people speak German. We went there for a summer holiday and it was great. The cable cars take you up the hills and you can walk down. Only downside is being woken up in the morning by the clack-clack-clack of geriatric walkers with their ski-pole-like walking sticks. But they make lovely wine, the air is the freshest I’ve ever breathed and the scenery is stunning. Which was nice.

Las Vegas – I only mention Las Vegas because I think it’s ruined my perceptions of going to lots of places in the world. I noticed it when I was in India. Bits of India didn’t feel quite right to me, and I realised that the reason was that I’d been there already. Well I’d been to the Vegas facsimilie anyway. And the Vegas version was bigger and brighter. So very very wrong.


Four music artists I’m listening to now:

Basic Channel – awesome minimal tech-space-dub. Most of their catalogue was realeased in 1993-1995 and only ever on vinyl – but it’s all just had it’s first digital release through Beatport. I bought the lot. And I can’t stop listening to them. Their releases as Rhythm & Sound are a bit more Reggae influenced but equally storming.

PoleResident Advisor Podcast. Kind of part of the same scene as Basic Channel. This podcast just popped up as I felt ready to go deeper into the dub vortex. The mix fuses reggae, dubstep and minimal sounds into something rather wonderful. The RA podcast is one of the most consistently excellent podcasts I’ve come across (if you like electronic-y stuff). His albums 1, 2, 3, R and Steingarten are all worth a listen.

Justus Kohncke – This chap has been releasing awesome tracks on the awesome Kompakt records for a while now. Pick up hisnew album Safe and Sound to get a good opener. It’s kind of techno-pop-disco. But it’s very light on cheese. I’m jealous that Boomkat managed to end their review of the album with: Justus is served.

Aidan John Moffat – he used to be part of Arab Strap with Malcolm Middleton whose recent albums I like too. But his most recent album I Can Hear Your Heart is a bunch of spoken word poems over the top of audio soundscapes with bits and pieces of music woven through it. His poems are really filthy and most of them involve some kind of sexual encounter. This review explains how I feel about it:

His words, no matter how filthy, are delivered in such a manner that can’t but touch the seedier parts of your heart, and often make you smile. Maybe that’s just my sense of humour, but tales of city life, honesty, misguided love, cheating and general ‘wrongness’ have never been so comforting.

Stories of urban oddness make for a a really strange soundtrack to a commute :-)


Having completed that monster post I am now the meme-master. I tag:

Faris – because I miss the little fellah with the big hair.
Russell – because he was moaning about not getting meme’d anymore (you’ll wish you’d never said that).
Adam – because I’m working with him at the moment and I feel I should know more about him.
My Mum – because she’s got blogs (plural) and I don’t think she’s been meme’d before and it’s about time she posted some new things ;-)

Loving Love

I popped in to see the chaps at Love in Manchester today. I don’t normally just turn up in strange towns and nip round to see people, but I got nice email from them yesterday as I was on the train (completely out of the blue), so it felt like fate was trying to tell me something.

So I went and met them. And what a lovely bunch of guys they are. With a fab office space. I even bumped into Matt who’s a sometime Poke freelancer which was a nice surprise too.

They gave me a book when I left. I’ve been looking at it. And I’m quite jealous. They’ve got a really amazing body of work behind them and when you look at what they’ve got going on it’s really impressive. Check their blog at: http://blog.lovecreative.com/

I really like the tone of voice they use in the book. Here’s one of my favourite bits (hope they don’t mind me using it):

I’m not adverse to a bit of swearing. But I always think there’s a bit of a risk using it in commercial things. But I’m OK with the use of ‘What a bastard’ at the end there. But oddly only if it’s spoken with a northern accent.

If you pronounce it b’ah-st’ah-d it just sounds odd. But b’ass-tard sounds just perfect to my ears. (Sorry my phonetic notation is crap, but hopefully you get me).

Perhaps its something that I’m particularly sensitive to being as I seem to see-saw on the way I pronounce bath, path and grass. One minute I’m all b’ah-th, p’ah-th and gr’ah-ss the next I go proper North. The curse of growing up in the midlands I guess.

3d Video

Wow. This 3d flash video (using papervision) is simply stunning. I predict a lot of this technique being over-used a lot in the next year.

But it’s perhaps a glimpse of what Google’s street level mapping might become in the not too distant.

Thanks to Mattias at Poke for the link.

Greg’s Show (and Marc’s Flickr)

Greg’s a very modest man and a very good coder at Poke. He’s also, it turns out, an awesome photographer. He’s got a show on at the moment which you can see here: http://www.nottingstill.co.uk/.

Or you could just go to his Flickr Page and see all his stuff. Nice one greg!

And while I’m on the subject of photography, Marc who’s a very modest man too and a very good designer at Poke is also a lensmaster. Here’s his photo of the fire a couple of weeks ago. Awesome. His flickr is here.

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